healthy.not so healthy.fun

we found beets and tomatos ready to be picked

we frosted cupcakes to look like the world to enrich our studies of world history

ava did scientific experiments with light and saliva

I'm worn out!


SiLlY ciRcuS

Giggles, sillies, ants in the pants, whatever you want to call it, it's invaded our school sessions in a big way this week.  Benji, our resident comedian, started it on Monday and it's gone downhill rapidly.

Benji's specialty is totally random sentences and made up words combined with Jim Carey-esque facial expressions and potty talk.  Try to be his 8 year old brother and not laugh at that sitting across the table!  In Alec's mind, of course the whispered phrase, "the magic word is Faaaawr-kuuuuus" with crossed eyes and a finger up the nose takes priority over the answer to 9+7.

I was reminded brilliantly by a reader and fellow home educator recently that "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called".  Thank you, gentle reader, for such a gem of encouragement.  In the hubbub of hysterical cackling consuming my three students, I'm searching for that equipment that I'm supposed to be receiving from my heavenly provider.

Today, I've used the tool called 'Daddy's-coming-home-early-today-and-he'll-be-glad-to-finish-up-these-projects-with-you', and excused the boys to clean their room.  I hear screaming coming from upstairs which is my cue that once again, my notion that boys this age can complete a task unsupervised is complete lunacy.

this photo is asking for a caption...anyone want to give it a try?


.the garden of eden.almost.

At the table this morning:

Alec: Mom! why is Ava naked?

Me: um, well, she's kinda always naked

Alec: Is she Eve?

Me: what?

Alec: Eve! You know, like 'first act of sin' Eve!

I guess he was paying attention during Bible the other day!

Wordless Wednesday

.thanks brit!


a {rare} moment of quiet

There's not enough coffee in the world to take care of this one!

Last night Ava was awake off and on till 2am with a fever and nausea.  She only vomited once, thank goodness!

I sent Marvin to bed so he could take the early shift.  We swapped a little after 2, and Marvin got up about every hour with her the rest of the night.

Morning came WaaY too soon! So far, all three kids have had M.A.J.O.R. temper tantrums and we've skipped math with Benji, handwriting with Alec and I'm about to skip the rest of the school day and turn it over to principal Dad when he gets home tonight.

I'm so tired from last night, I can hardly think straight and don't have the uMpfH to get the kids straightened up.

Honestly, this is the kind of day I expected to have the first week, so I'm not surprised by it.  It's just that I don't know my curriculum well enough yet to be able to know what I can skip or shorten as needed.

Alec is just now informing me that he's ready to proceed with a science project.  Am I allowed to say that I'm NOT ready?


girls day OUT!

On Saturday I had an unexpected, last minute chance to go to what we fondly call "Amish land" with my good friend Sarah.  I jumped at the opportunity gladly; it was definitely time for some girl time, without my kids!!

We had a beautiful drive and gorgeous weather.  We took Sarah's daughter Mia, Sarah's mom Maxine, and Sarah's MIL Elisabeth and her friend Char along with us.

The first stop we made before we actually got to Amish Land was to one of my all-time favorite home accessory boutiques called 55 West and Co.

The owner stocks the shop with all sorts of funky and vintage pretties for yourself and your home.  I found an awesome orange vintage scarf, and a yellow and red vintage button ring.  I found tons of other awesome stuff, but I just can't cram anything else into my house!

I wanted to take tons of pictures of the shop and her stuff, but I didn't want to "steal" images and ideas; it seemed a little too personal.

Almost there!
You know you're approaching "Amish Land" 
when horse-drawn carts are more prolific on the roads than automobiles!  


One of our favorite places to eat when we go there is called Rebecca's Tea Room.  Their menu changes daily so they write it on a giant white board that they tote around to each table as they are seated.  In addition to their scrumptious soups, salads and sandwiches, their specialty is a very large assortment of gourmet teas.  They are served in a pretty basket with your own pot of hot water right at the table.

This cracked me up a little; it's a "stretch" carriage- two bench seats instead of one, and the horse was parked under a sun umbrella!  I guess that answers any questions about how well the horses are treated! 

This parking lot had a beautiful view!

We saw this curious building on the way.  We all wondered what it used to be; my vote was for some sort of 
 liquor establishment!

We also went to a Heini's cheese makers and sampled to our heart's content.  Over half of their cheeses this time were made of raw milk and/or organic, and all of them are rBST/artificial growth hormone free!  Translation: if you're going to eat dairy products, this is the absolute best for you AND the tastiest!  It's made right there in the same building as the store.  During the week you can go and watch the whole process through a huge window.

Our last stop was Coblentz's Chocolates.  High quality, made on the premises, tasty and VERY expensive!  I found such yummies as Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels and a dark chocolate bar with dried plums, walnuts, and cardamom!

After that we rode home stuffing ourselves silly with chocolates and getting carsick.  I had a great time, enjoyed the company, and arrived home to a quiet house!  Marvin, brave soul that he is, had taken the kids to church by himself and out to dinner. He's an amazing man.

Silly Sunday


{ i just noticed that i now have 29 followers...who wants to be number 30? *grin* }

anatomy of a School House

I love organization.
It looks beautiful, it serves it's purpose beautifully, and those in it's presence tend to have a beautiful attitude!

I promised myself a long time ago that if I ever did home school, I'd be an exception to the rule. You know, the rule that says the home school house is floor to ceiling in every room with leaning piles of textbooks and science experiments and the lovely momma is dressed in a denim jumper?

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing inherently amiss with denim jumpers or piles of books; it's just not my style. I never leave the house without earrings and mascara and would not hesitate to switch my handbag if it didn't match the t-shirt I was wearing to the grocery store. It's not that I'm vain, I'm just visual.

I really enjoy beauty around me, I believe that it's a gift from our Creator when used correctly. I also function much better when my work spaces are pleasantly organized and attractive to my eye.

Hence, the need to beautify and organize my School House...
I love squares, and squares in squares, so I love my shelving. I forgot to take pictures of the inside, but I have clear containers (sadly not square!) with fun colored lids (orange, of course, and bright green) that hold our markers, crayons, tape, etc. along with our math manipulatives and assorted activities for Ava.

Below the shelving I have two file cabinets. Not attractive, but close to square! Ha!
In one, the top drawer contains all my teachers manuals and more things for Ava and the bottom drawer has one compartment for Alec and one for Benji with all their workbooks and student sheets.

After nearly a week of schooling, I'm seeing that I will most likely be moving some of our stuff around to facilitate smoother transitions between subjects. I'll probably put all the "read-aloud" texts in a basket in the living room, and possibly carve out a spot on the kitchen bookshelf for some workbooks or things for Ava.

It's definitely a learning process, but it's comforting to know that I'm in the center of Christ's will for me right now and He'll provide the skills that I need to do what He wants me to do!


not a Wordless Wednesday post

I never drink this
but today I did

later, my kitchen looked like this
while I let my two youngest do this

so that I could make this
for dinner

if anyone saw my Tweet about a great family weight loss program called "home school",
I wasn't kiddin!
we've hardly eaten a bite all week!!
the upside to that is my kitchen is relatively tidy and since it's doubling as our
school room
I'm good with that!

the quickie meal I fixed for dinner tonight has no name other than "fast food"!
it's a little of Amish-raised, preservative and chemical free turkey sausage
a lot of organic chopped spinach
and quinoa
all cooked up in my trusty iron skillet

What's quinoa?

:: it's pronounced "keen-wa"::
:: it's actually considered a vegatation type plant, not a grain ::
:: it has a texture much like small grained rice ::
:: a flavor that's pleasant, mild and a bit earthy ::
:: it tastes great with a bit of olive oil and sea salt ::
:: added to any dish in place of rice or pasta ::
I particularly love it in soup
:: you have to give it a good rinse before you cook it, but you cook it just like you cook rice ::

School went well today, we finished early again. I kept worrying that I was missing something until I realized later that we don't cover all subjects every day. Art and music are only twice a week.

I did, however, completely forget to do reading with Benji. I'm in a big hurry to get him reading; things will be so much less complicated when he does. For example: today we went outside to study a "Backyard habitat". Alec and Benji filled out a student sheet with various questions such as, do you see any animals? and, what do you see besides plants? So, for Benji I had to stand there and ask him the questions and fill in his answers.

That in and of itself isn't a problem, BUT my little monkey Ava was running a-muck and Alec still needs to do dictation for his worksheets (that's a whole 'nother story!)

Waking up at 6:00 am every day and learning to teach preschool, kindergarten and third grade all at once while I keep the house tidy and food on the table has me exhausted! I know it will get easier and I'm very excited to see where this goes.


{Vacation Photos!!} on the way there (1)

'home' at last!

We arrived WAAAY later than we wanted to,
but were happy to hear that we had missed a rain shower
{home} at last!

fun in the sand (2)

of course the beach was top priority
lots of pit-digging

the community sandbox came in a close second to the beach
i probably could have left Ava there for an hour and she wouldn't have noticed!
she particularly enjoyed playing in it with friends (Elizabeth and Benji)

recreation al fresco (3)

the shuffleboard courts at Lakeside are nationally recognized, so they say
we just think they're lots of fun!

the kids had opportunities to paint paper and rocks in outdoor studios

on the shore by the lighthouse (4)

visiting Marblehead lighthouse is an annual tradition
as are the attempted group shots of the kids on the rocks there

we did just happen to get a great family picture this time...

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